Maple syrup trivia
John and I took an overnight getaway last weekend. One problem we have with running our businesses is that we tend to work all the time, including weekends because when orders come in – you go work on them, even if they don’t ship until Monday. Sometimes the only way to not do that is to physically go away.
Luckily, John had a free hotel night through credit card rewards, so we just found a place that wasn’t too far of a drive that had a room available, which turned out to be Rutland, Vermont. It was a very nice weekend weather wise and we were able to catch some nice fall colors, albeit a bit past peak.
Downtown Rutland is a fun town. There was a big market going on, which we browsed around before having some lunch. I was all about having a bagel for lunch!
Rutland has a lot of stone and marble buildings and it seemed like a lot of churches LOL
Marble was a big industry for Vermont and it shows.
We tried some yummy drinks at a taproom with dinner. When you can’t decide, try a flight!
The one on the left was not a beer but a cider – a pumpkin cider! It was my favorite drink and had a cinnamon sugar rim. Need to find more of that.
Our hotel was decent. Not great considering the price of the room (although free for us), but they did have a pool that we swam in. I haven’t been swimming in probably 1-1/2 years. My suit has seen better days
On Sunday, we had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out to a maple museum:
The museum seems a little old, but with a really nice and brand spanking new gift shop attached to it.
John made a new friend at the entrance:
Really old equipment for gathering syrup from the woods.
Maple syrup is everywhere around here being the northeast, so you don’t always think that much about it. The syrup making season runs about 6 weeks in the spring when the sap flows.
Making syrup started with the native Americans, who used to boil the syrup by putting hot stones into the sap. These are some of the original kettles used by early settlers in America.
Did you know that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup? Each tree will produce about 10 gallons of sap per tap and the number of taps in a tree depends on how big the tree is.
These days there are commercial evaporators to boil the sap:
The sap is boiled and goes through the various trays in the evaporator to the correct sugar concentration at the end, which goes into the filter tank:
Then it is graded and packaged. Personally, both John and I prefer the dark grade maple that comes at the end of the sugaring season. It has a really intense flavor. It’s considered a syrup grade for cooking, but I like it on things.
It’s surprising to me that maple syrup is not more expensive. It goes around $45-50 per gallon here and considering how much work and sap it takes to make that gallon – it’s a good deal.
We sampled a lot of syrups and got a few maple products in the gift shop and then worked our way back home, including a stop in Lake George, decked out for Halloween!
It was nice to get away, even for an overnight. We really need to do that more often just to refresh and recharge – even if the accommodations aren’t free LOL!